No one likes having to take time off from their sports due to injury. However, this is something that many netball players will face. The good news? Every netball injury can be treated! Here are some of the most common complaints we see and how to fix them.
Netball involves high speed, deceleration, twisting and pivoting. Because of this knee injuries are relatively common. There are several structures that can be irritated or injured within the knee or outside the knee joint which can cause pain.
Inside the knee joint, the ACL (ligament) and meniscus (cushioning/ cartilage) may be injured due to an acute incident, usually involving non contact change of direction.
The articulating surfaces between the kneecap and thigh bone can become irritated and this is called Patellofemoral Joint Pain Syndrome (read more here). This pain can be felt in the front, sides or top of the knee cap.
The tendon that attaches the thigh muscle to the shin bone (patellar tendon) can become overloaded and this is called Patellar Tendiopathy (read more here). This pain is felt directly over the site of the tendon just below the knee cap.
Both of these conditions can be fixed with:
Appropriate load management: Ensuring training loads are increased progressively and not too much too soon
Increasing the capacity of the knee: Strengthening the quadriceps, glutes, calves and hamstrings to increase the shock absorption and control of your knee.
Injury prevention programs: In order to prevent netball injuries, it is important players practice good jumping and landing techniques and ensure appropriate warm ups and warm downs. Injury prevention programs such as the NETBALL KNEES have been shown to reduce the incidence of not only knee injuries but all lower limb injuries.
Ankle sprains are a common netball injury that occurs when the ligaments in your ankle are overstretched during stepping, jumping, landing unbalanced or with sudden changes in movement. Ankle sprains may vary in their severity – from a slight ‘twisted’ or ‘rolled’ ankle sprain to complete ligament ruptures, avulsion fractures or broken bones. Some of the common symptoms experienced after an ankle sprain may include: pain, swelling and some bruising, as well as possible difficulty with bearing weight on the injured side.
Lower back pain in cyclists is most effectively manage with:
Mobility: Exercises specific to each individual's needs can improve ankle motion and alleviate symptoms.
Strength: Improving the strength of the muscles around the ankle such as the calf complex, peroneals, and tibialis posterior will allow for better stability and support during netball.
Balance/ Proprioception: Improved balance and control in both static positions and with dynamic movements such as jumping and landing can help provide more stability and control to the ankle and prevent injury.
So, I have injured my ankle/ knee playing netball, how do I know if it is serious?
Usually when people sustain an acute and severe knee the will know straight away that they have done something major. Some of these signs include:
Snap or pop: If you hear or feel a noise this may indicate something has ruptured or boken.
Unable to weight bear: If you find it difficult to put weight on it
Unable to keep playing: There is always an exception to the cause, however if it is too sore to keep going at something you love, this is usually a sign that you have done something worth having checked out.
Immediate swelling: If there is swelling around the ankle or knee post incident
When to See a Physio?
If you have experienced any acute knee or ankle injury, meaning there has been a specific incident or you have been experiencing knee or ankle pain without any incident for >1 week, you should seek treatment. Your physiotherapist will assist you to reduce the acute pain as well as identifying the relevant contributing factors to your pain and address them with exercises, an appropriate load management plan and bike fit as necessary. At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy we will have you back doing your sport or hobby as soon as possible.
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced Remedial Massage Therapists today!
You can make an appointment by calling 03 9498 0205 or booking online.